Sorare is a new platform that combines digital trading cards with fantasy football and is a project we are very enthusiastic about.
It is relatively new, having launched in 2019 but since then has seen tremendous growth, raising $50m in Series A funding recently. If you want to know more about Sorare and how it works, please check out our Guide here.
I (Dan) joined Sorare about a month ago and purchased some cards and will be recording my performance in the fantasy football games (called SO5 on the platform) here on this page.
So, how has it been going so far?
Well first up I should say I have been loving the platform. The game is really immersive, kind of addictive in fact, and it really gets you following your players and their performances closely. I’ve found myself watching random Portuguese and Belgian matches that I would never have watched otherwise! The whole concept is amazing and there’s so much potential for Sorare to grow and develop in the years to come.
You can easily find yourself spending hours scouting players and studying their stats, looking for a bargain or the next hot prospect. There’s some great content out there on social media and YouTube now and a fast-growing community. We would recommend the Sorare Podcast if you are looking for interesting chats about the platform.
Anyway, getting on to my results, so far I have made 0.08 ETH in rewards, which has been made up of hitting the 250 point threshold four times. At today’s prices that’s about €117.
That’s a fantastic return in just a month on the platform and I’m well on my way to making back the initial investment I put in pretty quickly. My plan is to also sell a couple of players soon to recoup a large portion of my initial investment and then play “with the house’s money” in the long run.
A shout-out to the players who have been performing well for me so far: Bentancur – before contracting Covid that is – was an absolute rock and is probably the best player in my gallery.
Seferovic of Benfica has also been on great form, smashing in the goals left, right and centre. Mario Hermoso looks a good signing and is the kind of dependable defender who should do well long-term. Daniil Fomin at Dynamo Moscow looks a bargain too for a young player with a lot of good scores already behind him.
There have been a few underperformers too unfortunately – Ponce has been dropped at Spartak Moscow which is a little concerning and Arthur had a shocker in his last game but I think is still a quality player who should do well overall.
So far I haven’t really been close to winning a card though, which is a little disappointing but with so many new members joining Sorare recently it’s become incredibly competitive at the top end and generally you need at least 320 points to win a card now. The most I have been hitting is around 290 points.
Top-end “Vicious Cycle”
This actually touches on one of the issues with the game the way it is at the moment. The early adopters now have such an advantage in terms of holding all the best cards that they are totally dominating the fantasy contests.
This is acting like a vicious cycle, because in winning the contests they also win the best cards as rewards, only serving to increase their advantage further – and so on.
So unless you have like 20 grand to invest now and challenge those users, it looks like everyone else is pretty much left fighting for scraps.
You can still win a lesser card, which as I say is possible with a score of around 320. And those lesser cards can still be worth a few hundred Euros, plus you have the ETH threshold payouts, so the prizes are still very good overall. It’s just a bit frustrating to see that your chances of ever competing at the top end are almost gone already and those at the top are just increasing their advantage over you all the time.
I am not sure what Sorare can do to address this really. Perhaps creating more sub-divisions for people to enter as the platform grows – for example by country – would provide more diversity and give a greater number of users a chance.
The top managers would still dominate of course, but it might just allow some others a chance if you had a Russia-only league or Portugal-only league for example, where there is no Mbappe, Neymar or Kroos to steal the show every week.
Ubisoft’s One Shot League is a move in this direction of course as it involves just the Belgian Jupiler league and is more egalitarian. Perhaps we will see more of this, either within Sorare itself or in the offshoot games that are developed.
Portfolio & Strategy
Understanding some of these dynamics has led me to rethink my strategy a little lately. When I signed up, I was mainly aiming to just compile a solid team of players who could regularly help me hit the ETH threshold each week and amass a nice steady income from that. And to be honest, the prices went so crazy not long after I signed up that’s pretty much all you could do!
Whilst that is still a sound strategy, the incentive to win cards is so strong – with that possibility of being able to “move up the ladder” by doing so – that I have slightly changed my approach. So now I am looking more for players who can hit big scores now and then rather than just the “Steady Eddy” types I was looking at before. A drop in card prices over the past couple of weeks has also helped in this regard.
So in to my gallery have come players like: Rafa Silva, Joao Mario, Angel Correa and Alexis Sanchez.
There’s also another theme to these players – they are all players I know and have watched quite a lot of, either lately or over the years. Whilst it’s nice to scout those unheard-of players and find a few bargains, one thing I’ve found a little frustrating is in picking players based on their SO5 scores alone without knowing much about them, you can find those players dropped or losing form and left somewhat in the dark about how good they actually are.
Having known quantities and players you know are top class provides a degree of security that whilst they may have dips in form now and then (as all players do), they have that underlying quality which will always shine through. Form is temporary, class is permanent as they say.
Another aspect I’ve noticed recently is some people seem to be primarily using just a player’s recent scores to judge them. This might be because Sorare only displays a player’s last five scores on the platform, so people might be evaluating players largely based on that. It is creating some great value on players who are out of form in their last five games but have better long-term scores however.
New Reward Structure and Scarcity Level
Sorare reported on Discord recently that they are working on a new reward structure and scarcity level. These are hugely important developments for the platform and it is important they get them right.
In terms of the reward structure, this will be very welcome, should help the continued growth of the platform and to support card prices. Whilst the Sorare team have hinted at increasing the number of cards available to win, we actually think adding the ETH threshold reward to a couple of more leagues would be more beneficial.
In terms of increasing the number of places that win a card, that would be good in itself but ultimately there are only so many cards they can give away before it starts cannibalizing their business model and ending up with too much dilution.
We don’t think they’ve reached that point yet and they could reasonably increase it to the extent that around 10% of entrants win a card prize, but ultimately it probably isn’t practical for them to go beyond that and long term as more and more users join Sorare, that percentage will probably come down over time.
With the ETH threshold payouts though they can make the platform hugely attractive to new users – after all that is the main reason we joined Sorare. Having that steady payout is a great incentive and really helps with enjoyment levels. Even when you know you’re not competing for the big card prizes, watching your players just sneak by the 250 or 205 point mark is a great buzz and keeps you hooked to the end of most gameweeks.
Whilst we are conscious of the need to have a sustainable business model given what happened to Football Index recently, we think given the tens of millions they are bringing in through card sales they could easily add the ETH threshold to one or two more divisions.
In the last gameweek for example they paid out 27.35 ETH in threshold payouts, which is around $47,000 at today’s prices. However, they are taking in around $400,000 per day in new card sales.
So when you consider they only have to pay out once every 3.5 days (and not at all in periods like the current international break), it should be more than comfortable for them to add the ETH threshold payout to one or two more leagues.
However, at the same time we understand if they want to be cautious and don’t want to overextend themselves by making a financial commitment like this. So it would be understandable if they wanted to experiment with just adding the payout on an ad-hoc basis to start with and get some more data on the implications of it.
They added an ETH threshold payout for example to one of the Special Contests recently so they could experiment with adding it to a different league each week on a trial basis to see how it goes.
As we say, we expect adding the ETH threshold payout to more leagues would do a lot to support card prices (as cards would then intrinsically have more value) so we expect this would be in Sorare’s interests as well. But we will leave it to them to come up with the best solution as they have shown themselves to be very adept at listening to the community and coming up with the right solutions so far.
In terms of the new scarcity level, we covered that in some detail in our Sorare Strategy Guide, but the short version is that we think if done in the right way it should work well and encourage a lot of new users to join the platform, which in the long run should be good for everyone.
All in all then we would sum up by saying we are loving Sorare and have become quite hooked on it. There are some issues to sort out as with any fast-growing new venture like this but we are confident they will solve the issues and continue to build an amazing platform.
There are so many exciting developments happening all the time – we didn’t even mention the two new clubs coming on board – Galatasaray were added earlier in the week and there’s a new club due to be announced soon. Could be Milan, Dortmund, or another big club. Exciting times…
Sorare Live Portfolio Tracker
5th March 2021
Sorare is a combination of fantasy football and digital trading cards and is a platform we are very enthusiastic about.
It is relatively new, having launched in 2019 but since then has seen tremendous growth, recently raising $50m in Series A funding. We have joined Sorare and purchased some cards and will be recording our performance in the fantasy football games here on this page.
If you want to know more about Sorare and how it works, please check out our Guide here.
It is a little complicated at first but once you understand the concept it is great fun to be involved in and we are looking forward to recording our experiences on the platform.
Results So Far
To kick things off, here is a little summary of how we have got on so far:
We have played three “gameweeks” so far – which as mentioned in our guide are actually just a few days: one for the midweek fixtures and one for the weekend fixtures, meaning you get two “gameweeks” per week.
Anyway, in our first gameweek from Feb 23-26 we scored 146 points in the Global All-Star Division 4, which wasn’t enough to win any prizes 🙁 .
However, in the next two gameweeks we managed to clear the 250 point threshold in the Global All-Star Division 4, landing us 0.02 ETH on each occasion, so we are around €50 up already in game rewards!
We also made around €20 from a quick flip of a player (buying then selling for profit), so in total are €70 up.
The value of our players has also increased substantially since we bought them – over 300% in fact – although we will not record that here as obviously those prices could go down again. We will only record banked profit for this trial.
We now have a good number of players in our portfolio – or “gallery” as it is called on Sorare – so will be looking to enter a few different contests this weekend. We are aiming to enter three different contests which would give us a good spread and hopefully a decent chance of winning a prize!
So that’s our introduction to our experience of Sorare so far. In future updates we will take a look at some of the players in our gallery and why we picked them and detail our long-term strategy for getting the most out of Sorare.
In the meantime it’s fingers crossed for a good gameweek and we will be back soon.